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Airbnb and Lyft respond to Trump’s immigration ban

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Housing and transportation bigwigs react to order blocking immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries

Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, speaking at Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2016.
Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, speaking at Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2016.
Photo by Fortune

On the heels of President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim executive orders, an immigration ban resulting in the detaining of thousands of immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, several Silicon Valley companies responded. Most notably, Airbnb and Lyft, two San Francisco-based tech giants who countered with housing and financial aid.

Brian Chesky, CEO of the controversial home-sharing service, announced that Airbnb would offer free housing to people stranded by the ban. “Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US,” he tweeted. “Stay tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing.”

Chesky went on to ask people to “stand with those who are affected,” adding, “[n]ot allowing countries or refugees into America is not right.”

Following suit, rideshare outfit Lyft announced that it will “donate $1,000,000 over the next four years to the ACLU to defend our constitution.”

Lyft CEO Logan Green told Recode: ”Throughout our history, Lyft has worked hard to create an inclusive, diverse and conscientious community where all of our drivers and passengers feel welcome and respected. Banning people of a particular religion from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft's and our nation's core values."

Late Sunday evening, while #DeleteUber was trending in California, Lyft sent out the following press release.

“This weekend, Trump closed the country's borders to refugees, immigrants, and even documented residents from around the world based on their country of origin. Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft's and our nation's core values. We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.

We know this directly impacts many of our community members, their families, and friends. We stand with you, and are donating $1,000,000 over the next four years to the ACLU to defend our constitution. We ask that you continue to be there for each other - and together, continue proving the power of community.”

Meanwhile, Uber, who came under fire for CEO Travis Kalanick’s relationship to President Trump, pledged to financially assist drivers stuck overseas to the tune of $3 million.

Following Trump’s orders, people convened at major international airports to decry the ban. They range from people just arriving in the US for new jobs to people who have lived in America legally for years and were merely taking a vacation overseas,” reports Vox. “The senseless cruelty of the executive order has led to spontaneous protests at many of America’s major airports.”